Rituals are essential to maintaining a harmonious daily routine and create the resiliency and positivity to navigate our lives successfully.
Here are seven rituals that you can easily adopt into your daily life and create more balance and better health as a result. They're practical, simple and require barely any additional time or previous skill. There's no reason you shouldn’t make these part of your life.
1. Start your day with a positive affirmation about yourself.
The way you view yourself and your life in the morning sets the stage for the rest of the day. Say something like this to yourself: "My life is beautiful and I have plenty of opportunities to succeed and be happy," "I'm capable, deserving, and ready to create an amazing life for myself and my loved ones," or, "I'm proud of my body and I deserve to treat all of myself with love and kindness." If you have a hard time coming up with positive affirmations first thing in the morning, take some time and write out three to five affirmations that target areas you struggle with. Changing your internal dialogue through positive affirmations is a fundamental part of changing your life and the opportunities that will come to you.
2. Slather your body in lotion SLOWLY.
It’s so important to touch your own body on a regular basis (this is important especially if you tend to dislike your body), so instead of rushing when you get out of shower, take just one or two extra minutes and rub lotion on your entire body with firm pressure, slow movements and loving attention. This is not a time to judge your bumps and curves, it’s about feeling your own skin.
3. Listen to calming music.
I live in NYC, and the crowds can easily get to me, so I listen to calming music on my phone while I walk, ride the subway or work on new projects. If you're driving, try listening to calming music while in traffic. I promise it will work wonders on your road rage. Get me some Mozart, please!
4. Swap coffee for tea.
I used to reach for a cup of joe every chance I got. I admit it, as a European I love the taste of strong coffee, BUT it also kept me wired, affected my sleep, and added to my stress and anxiety which manifested itself in the form of a frequent uncomfortable knotlike sensation in my throat. I cut back my coffee consumption to one small cup in the morning and have loved exploring different teas as a replacement. I love the comfort of consuming something warm that also leaves me feeling calm and centered.
5. Chew your food slowly.
Many people have a tendency to inhale their food in a matter of seconds. Chewing your food properly, however is an essential part of the digestive process because saliva contains important digestive enzymes. Chewing also breaks food into smaller particles and makes it easier for your body to absorb nutrients. Taking more time chewing your food can help you avoid uncomfortable sensations like overeating and bloating as well as weight gain.
6. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, and dedicate that time to think of things for which you're grateful.
I turned taking the stairs into one of my daily rituals because it's a simple way to do something positive for my health on a consistent basis, and it's a nice reminder to do my gratitude work. I recommend taking the stairs if you have to get to floor five or below. If you want to up your game even more, walk up the stairs on the balls of your feet instead of planting your whole foot, and you’ll get a nice definition in your calves (what a great extra bonus!).
7. Gently stretch your body throughout the day.
It doesn’t have to be a whole stretching routine every time, but simple stretches throughout the day can go a long way in terms of reducing tight shoulders, a stiff neck, and an achy back. Start with simply lifting your arms up above your head, stretching your wrist, rotating your neck in different directions, getting up from your chair and doing a little forward bend. It doesn’t have to be a tough and sweaty routine. Simple goes a long way. It will increase blood flow throughout your body, loosen your muscles, mobilize your joints, and freshen up your mind.